London — Germany's economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions fell 0.5%, or 4.4 million mt, of CO2 equivalent in 2017 to 906.6 million mt, the Federal Environment Agency UBA said Monday.
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Germany's total GHG emissions were down 27.5% in 2017 compared with 1990 levels, it said in final CO2 calculations sent to the European Commission
The most significant drop in emissions was from the energy sector, where emissions fell 19.5 million mt to 313 million mt CO2e, due to reduced use of hard coal and increased use of renewable energy sources, particularly wind power, as well as decommissioning of power plant capacities, it said.
Transport sector emissions were 168 million mt, of which the largest share was road transport, whose emissions rose 2.1 million mt CO2e in 2017.
"By 2030, emissions will have to be cut by at least 55% compared with 1990, and by 70% by 2040. But especially the transport sector continues to move in the wrong direction," UBA President Maria Krautzberger said in the report.
More vehicles on the roads, carrying more goods, and larger and heavier cars all contributed to the trend of growing road sector emissions, which in 2017 were 2% higher than in 1990, she said.
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"Something must finally happen here," Krautzberger said.
Agriculture sector emissions fell slightly in 2017 to 66 million mt CO2e, down 0.4% from 2016 levels. Industrial process emissions rose 2.5% in 2017 to 64 million mt CO2e, driven by strong economic growth in the metals and cement industries, it said.
In the power sector, a combination of a stronger EU carbon price -- now well above Eur20/mt ($23/mt)) -- growing renewable energy capacity and the formation of a commission to work on ways to phase out coal, were all set to contribute to reducing the sector's CO2 emissions over the long term.
UBA will present a near-term forecast for 2018 GHG emissions in March, it said.
Separately, initial figures indicated Germany continued to reduce emissions in 2018 and was on track for the largest annual drop since 2009, according to data from energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen.
Strong renewable energy output and milder than normal temperatures in 2018 reduced Germany's emissions by about 7% in the first nine months of the year, the group said in December.
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